Before the half-life of everything hip (art, music, film, street fashion, etc.) went by in a flash and everything was endlessly co-opted, made consumable for everyone, available at Macy’s, the one and only Patti Astor–ballerina, SDS political activist, actress, blonde bombshell–opened FUN Gallery in a tenement storefront at 254 East 10th Street.
From 1981 until FUN was shuttered in 1985, Astor (and partner Bill Stelling), changed the art world, showing graffiti artists (Fab 5 Freddy, LEE, Zephyr, Futura 2000, Lady Pink), and artists who had begun in the streets, subways and were now more established (Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf). And the overflow crowds that jammed FUN were an unprecedented mashup of worlds–downtown black leather rubbing shoulders with uptown furs.
Patti Astor’s first book, a memoir, “FUN Gallery…The True Story” has just been published and details the East Village scene of the 70s that spawned her un-white box gallery, and her adventures as the gallerist with the mostest.
A book signing will take place today at Clic Gallery, 255 Centre Street from 5 pm to 8 pm.